As players start to reach the “Golden Age of Learning”, we are able to continue to layer lessons on top of each other. They will remember from one training session to the next concepts and ideas that you introduced. While spatial awareness is only starting in on the awareness radar, players will begin to understand their role on the field. Instead of providing specific direction to a player, the opportunity to define roles is more important. Players at this age are still playing small-sided games and should be exposed to playing all positions. Soccer skill development should be the focus as opposed to tactics.
[button url=”/areas-of-soccer/tactical/u10″]U10 Tactics[/button]
Players at U9 and U10 still possess immature bodies and their work rates need to be monitored closely. Due to the lack of physical maturity, fitness should not be a focus at these ages. This means that fitness work – outside of warm-ups or cool-downs – like laps, sprints and pushups are for naught. Their bodies are not ready to receive this type of attention. Fitness can be naturally developed through the intensity of the work completed during your training sessions. This is enough fitness for players at this age.
[button url=”/areas-of-soccer/fitness/u10″]U10 Fitness[/button]
Skills, skills and more skills. As player’s fine motor skills develop, you have an awesome opportunity to layer on top additional, more complex skills. For instance, players should have the capacity to dribble with both feet (although reluctantly) and should use that foundation to develop moves to beat a defender. Step overs are always a great opportunity to start as a “first” move that works at all levels of the game. The continued focus should be on skill development at this age.
[button url=”/areas-of-soccer/technical/u10″]U10 Technical[/button]
A fragile ego and a development of self awareness mark U9 and U10 soccer. Players will want to wear the “right” gear to practice and social acceptance is central to keeping players interested. Maintaining a positive team environment is a key role for a soccer coach at this age due to the subgroups that can develop. Keep a keen eye to how you form pairs and groups to ensure that players have opportunities to pair with different players – otherwise, you’ll have the same pairs for each group.
[button url=”/areas-of-soccer/psychological/u10″]U10 Psychology[/button]
At U9 and U10 soccer, you are bridging the gap from U8 players dependent upon their parents between U12 players who are wholly trying to assert themselves in the world. Since kids develop at different rates, some players will need more coddling and direction compared to more independent players finding their way. It is appropriate to consider tournaments for your team (which adds to your responsibility) and finding a level of play that works with your skill development and commitment of your team.
[button url=”/areas-of-soccer/team-management/u10″]U10 Team Management[/button]